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Connecting the dots: Crack, Contras, and the CIA

Brass Check TV

This 1996 interview with Gary Webb took place after his “Dark Alliance” newspaper series made waves across the country for piecing together the puzzle of the US crack epidemic.

The pipeline of CIA backed drug smuggling into the country and money smuggling out of the country to support the Nicaraguan Contras was wide open from the mid 1970s on, with players using everything from their shoes to freighters to move cocaine.

Webb was widely smeared by the CIA’s favorite newspapers (The New York Times, the Washington Post, The LA Times ) shortly after this interview.

He was eventually vindicated, but not before his career was destroyed. He was found dead of an apparent suicide in 2005. The price of being a whistleblower?

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

New Israeli bill banning Palestine flag in protests

Palestine Information Center – December 16, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation is scheduled to discuss a new bill imposing a one-year prison sentence on individuals who raise Palestinian flags during demonstrations, according to Haaretz.

Drafted by MK Anat Berko, the bill stipulates that any gathering of at least of three people raising the flag of a state or an entity that is not friend with Israel or that prevents the raising of the flag of Israel will be considered illegal. Anyone who participates in a prohibited gathering would be subjected to up to a year in prison.

The bill defines the states that are not friends with Israel as the “states who do not recognize Israel as a Jewish and democratic state”.

Berko, in her justification, wrote that Israel is a democratic state which allows its citizens to protest against different issues; however, the new bill draws a red line between the legal protest and the protest where the flags of the countries that do not recognize Israel are raised.

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 1 Comment

Palestine: Two schools evacuated as Israeli gunman open fires outside

MEMO | December 16, 2018

An Israeli settler opened fire on Sunday outside two schools in the West Bank, as other settlers rampaged through the street under the protection of Israeli forces, reports Wafa News Agency. The schools are at the entrance to the village of al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, to the south of Nablus in the West Bank.

The shooting terrified the students and teachers of the two schools, and were forced to leave the schools to a safe haven.

Ibrahim Emran, the principal at one of the schools, told Wafa that settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar attacked the school under the protection of the Israeli military, and that one of the settlers shot a bullet in the air to terrify the students. Emran said the school was forced to evacuate its students to keep them safe.

He added that the settlers also attacked civilian homes near the school, while soldiers fired rubber-coated bullets and gas bombs, prompting clashes between soldiers and local citizens.

Israeli sources claimed that the firing came in a response to a stoning attack on settlers’ vehicles passing at route 60, just near the entrance to the village where the schools are located.

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 2 Comments

Operation “Northern Shield” at the Israeli-Lebanese Border: Why Hassan Nasrallah Remains Silent

By Sayed Hasan | Resistance News, Unfiltered | December 16, 2018

The operation “Northern Shield” was launched with great fanfare by the Israeli occupier on December 4, allegedly aimed at “exposing and neutralizing the cross-border attack tunnels that Hezbollah dug from Lebanon to Israel”. Indeed, the Lebanese Resistance has repeatedly promised to no longer be on a defensive position in case of aggression or war, and carry the fighting inside occupied Palestine, or even to liberate Galilee. Spokesmen of the Israeli government ostensibly congratulated themselves on what they presented as thwarting the plans of the dreaded Hassan Nasrallah.

Israeli propaganda and its docile Western media relays presented the operation as a large-scale military offensive that would strike a huge blow to the Party of God, as if the Zionist entity had entered Lebanese territory (or was about to do so), whether on land or underground. A speech by the Hezbollah Secretary General was announced for the same day by the Israeli and Western media, which would have seemed to confirm the importance of the Israeli operation. And given Hezbollah’s silence, it was ultimately said that this silence was due to the shock in which the Lebanese Resistance found itself after this surprise operation that would have ruined its most secret plans.

But what is it all really about? First and foremost, it is ridiculous to equate drilling and excavation work taking place inside occupied Palestine, and not encroaching in any way on Lebanese territory, with some kind of offensive, or even a military operation. Heavy construction, earthworks and fortification work on the northern border of Israel have been conducted by the IDF since 2015, with the aim of creating a Maginot-kind line of defense against Hezbollah (to emphasize its anachronistic character, Al-Manar nicknamed it The Wall of Illusion).

If the Israeli and Western media refrained from any mediatization on this subject, it is because these works of engineering did not serve the propaganda of Israel, underlining on the contrary its weakness: the Zionist entity is indeed cornered to a defensive position for the first time in its existence. But Hezbollah itself has clearly boasted about this upheaval, notably by organizing a media tour in April 2017 to expose the Israeli measures to the world. The promise of February 16, 2011, in which Hassan Nasrallah announced to his fighters that they must be ready to receive, one day, the order to liberate Galilee, has indeed been taken very seriously by Israel. Even more so after the war in Syria, where Hezbollah has acquired and demonstrated its offensive capabilities by liberating vast areas of territory from the presence of ISIS, leading battles that, by their nature, extent and deployed personnel and weapons, are no longer guerrilla warfare. Hezbollah’s offensive capabilities have never been based on the existence of tunnels, as evidenced already by the cross-border capture of Israeli soldiers in July 2006, and are now more similar to operations launched by conventional armies, as Hassan Nasrallah pointed out in an interview on August 19, 2016:

When Hezbollah intervenes in the war in Syria, and fights as a very large formation, and with very different armaments, or as part of a very large formation with various armaments, and participates in major and very extensive offensive operations, when he manages to repel armed men (ISIS terrorists), who are not normal combatants, especially foreigners, fighters of such a level (of commitment, ready to die), when Hezbollah expels them from very large geographical areas, it means that Hezbollah gains an offensive experience, a vast experience of liberation of territory through continuous and direct military operations, and not through guerrilla warfare. And Hezbollah did not have such experience before the war in Syria.

This is where Israel is frightened and terrified. Because what Hezbollah does in Syria, if a war is launched against it, it will do it in Galilee. […] If Hezbollah emerged from the (2006) July war as a regional power, it will emerge from this war (in Syria) as a true military power representing a force capable to liberate (huge) territories not only through guerrilla warfare, but even in a war that looks much more like the classic wars (between national armies).

Hezbollah is not Hamas, and believing that their strategies and tactics are the same while their abilities and experiences are immeasurable is both an illusion and a hoax to which, of course, Hassan Nasrallah did not deign reply.

Why was this show-operation launched now? Netanyahu, who is altogether Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Health, is more discredited than ever in Israel, because of the recent military failure against Gaza –after which his Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman resigned, almost taking down his government–, and of his innumerable legal probes, which led the Israeli police to ask, at the beginning of December, his indictment as well as that of his wife in an umpteenth corruption case. The Israeli opposition, from the first days, openly expressed doubts as to the true goals of the Operation “Northern Shield”, as did Tzipi Livni, who denounced the overdramatization of this operation:

We are not now in a situation where our soldiers are behind enemy lines. We are talking about engineering activity within the sovereign territory of the state of Israel. Netanyahu is blowing the incident out of proportion. He made a defensive engineering event into a dramatic military operation. This was done for one of two reasons — either the Prime Minister is himself panicking, or he wants to sow panic to justify his actions both in delaying elections and abandoning the residents of southern Israel [against the rockets of Gaza].

But we must not rely on the Western media to bring to our knowledge this easily accessible data. For them, only the official Israeli propaganda is worthy of credit.

More weak than ever, Netanyahu wants to present himself as a strong man against Hezbollah, but the operation launched against alleged tunnels, a preposterous maneuver to divert the attention of the Israeli press and public opinion, reveals only the powerlessness of Israel against the Party of God. Hezbollah is well aware that Netanyahu will not dare to launch a war of aggression against Lebanon, and that against Hezbollah, Israel has no other recourse than Washington’s sanctions and its own appeals to international institutions –these same institutions and laws trampled on by Tel Aviv for decades– to condemn the alleged violations of Israeli sovereignty by Hezbollah –while Israel continues to violate Lebanese airspace daily– and take action against him.

In the face of such childishness –the Israeli army is more likely to find Digletts and other underground Pokemon than operational tunnels of Hezbollah–, Hassan Nasrallah was wary not to provide any fuel to Netanyahu’s show: any speech on his part would have added credibility to this hyped pseudo-operation. Hezbollah media and Lebanese civilians took care of responding, widely ridiculing the operation, mocking Israel on social media, and picnicking with family on the border to taunt Israeli soldiers on the war footing.

A clip called “We’ll meet up in Haifa”, subtitled in Hebrew, was directed by a Lebanese artist, parodying an Israeli song. Hezbollah fighters can be seen reaching Haifa by tunnel, and spying on Netanyahu in his own home.

For its part, Hezbollah’s war media published a picture of Israeli troops taken from behind, inside Israeli territory, while they were facing the Lebanese border, thus proving that even when the enemy is on high alert, its territory remains easily accessible.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/images7/hizbbehindlines.jpg

Moreover, Hezbollah fighters have stolen two FN MAG machine guns under the noses of Israeli soldiers (the Israeli media have widely reported this theft), weapons that will certainly reappear in their hands at the most opportune moment to humiliate the Israeli army and its government.

And on December 12, Hezbollah released this video subtitled in Hebrew and recalling the reality of the situation: it is Israel that fears Hezbollah and takes all measures to guard against it, not the other way around.

It is unlikely that the confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah will turn into war in the near future. But psychological warfare continues to rage, and the electronic battalions of Hassan Nasrallah demonstrate day after day their superiority.

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 2 Comments

Pro-Israel MPs flout NDP policy

By Yves Engler · December 16, 2018

Do New Democrat MPs who belong to the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group (CIIG) have carte blanche to flout party policy?

Last week CIIG executive member Murray Rankin participated in a press conference calling for a new round of Canadian sanctions on Iran. The Victoria MP joined CIIG chair  Michael Levitt, vice-chair David Sweet and executive member Anthony Housefather for an event led by former CIIG executive Irwin Cotler.

Rankin’s role in this anti-Iranian effort runs counter to the NDP’s opposition to illegal sanctions on Iran, call for Canada to re-establish diplomatic relations with that country and support for the 2015 “p5+1 nuclear deal”. (Justin Trudeau has failed to maintain  his election promise to restart diplomatic relations with Iran.)

Rankin’s departure from NDP policy takes place amidst the Donald Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and bid to force others to adhere to its illegal sanctions, threatening to sanction any country that buys Iranian oil.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently said the US would seek to starve Iranians until the country’s decision-makers accept their demands. Last month Pompeo told the BBC, “the [Iranian] leadership  has to make a decision that they want their people to eat.”

Along with punishing its economy, the US and Israel are seeking to foment unrest in Iran. According to a July Axios story, “Israel and  the United States formed a joint working group a few months ago that is focused on internal efforts to encourage protests within Iran and pressure the country’s government.”

The other NDP member on CIIG’s executive also recently departed from the party’s position by condemning the Palestinian solidarity movement. Randall Garrison tweeted, “Nick Cave: cultural boycott of Israel is ‘cowardly and shameful’” and linked to an article quoting the Australian musician who has joined a growing list of prominent individuals – from Lorde to Natalie Portman – refusing to whitewash Israeli apartheid.

Garrison’s comment seems to run counter to the NDP’s vote against a 2016 House of Commons resolution condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. It certainly angered many rank-and-file party members.

After the backlash to Garrison’s attack on the Palestine solidarity movement, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs put out a statement calling on people to defend the NDP MP.

It said,

“last night MP Randall Garrison tweeted an anti-BDS article, calling boycotts of Israel ‘cowardly and shameful’. Since then, the comment section of the tweet has been filled with hateful pro-BDS messages from anti-Israel trolls.”

The timing of Garrison’s tweet made it especially egregious. The day before CIIG’s vice-chair attacked Palestine solidarity activists the Israeli Knesset voted down (71 votes to 38) a bill titled the “Basic Law: Equality”, which stated, “the State of Israel  shall maintain equal political rights amongst all its citizens, without any difference between religions, race, and sex.”

The bill was partly a response to the explicitly racist Nation-State law passed in the summer. (The bulk of Garrison and Rankin’s colleagues on CIIG’s Israeli partner — the Israel-Canada Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group — most likely  voted against equality.)

Three weeks ago Garrison spoke at an event organized by the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC). CIIG’s chair also spoke. On Twitter, Michael Levitt noted:

“Had an amazing time talking to the CJPAC Fellowship Conference last night. Over 50 Jewish and non-Jewish university students who are pro-Israel and politically engaged.”

In his hostility to Palestine solidarity activism, Garrison has taken to blocking NDP members on Twitter. After Garrison’s attack against the BDS movement, prominent lawyer and Palestinian rights advocate, Dimitri Lascaris, wrote:

“No other Canadian MP has blocked me even though I have said far harsher things about other Canadian MPs than I have ever said about Garrison.”

Last summer NDP leader Jagmeet Singh refused to heed a call by 200  well-known musicians, academics, trade unionists and party members for the NDP to withdraw from CIIG.

Perhaps if Singh had supported the open letter signed by Roger Waters, Linda McQuaig, Maher Arar, Noam Chomsky, etc. it would have sent a message and lessened the likelihood that Garrison and Rankin would flout party policy.

It is not too late for Singh to reevaluate his position on the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group.

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 1 Comment

Fanning the Flames of Dissent: The Ruling Class Is Having Trouble with Its Israel-Palestine Narrative

By Jason Hirthler | American Herald Tribune | December 15, 2018

Recently, the White House hosted two Hanukkah celebrations attended by the president, first lady, and vice president. One can imagine the general bonhomie as the Trumps rubbed elbows with fellow billionaire Sheldon Adelson and other luminaries of the ‘special relationship’. Trump was cheered for his provocative move of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something many observers call a sea change in U.S. foreign policy. Of course, almost every recent president has publicly stated that Jerusalem is Israel’s proper capital. Trump was simply the first president to actually follow through on the implications of that position.

In its coverage of the events, Trump was assailed by the Times of Israel for telling American Jews that Israel was “your country”, as if they were not American citizens. The paper noted that if Barack Obama had made such a rhetorical misstep, he would’ve been savaged by conservative media. As it was, Trump’s language was generally passed over in silence in the mainstream press. Despite that, the president and his coterie of Zionist comrades are likely becoming an ever more isolated pack of wolves on the American scene, their inflexible ideology and its brutal manifestations alienating them from popular opinion in the U.S.

The Scourge of Self-Deception

In his excellent book The Folly of Fools, evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers expounded his theory of deceit and self-deception among humans, including his concept of false historical narratives. A false historical narrative is essentially when a nation or tribe or people collectively believe a false version of their history. Trivers’ particular example? Israel. The author unpacks the country’s long-standing denial of Palestinian agency in its zealous Zionist pursuit of Greater Israel as a form of collective self-delusion. One that has had considerable influence in the United States where AIPAC wields outsized influence on Capitol Hill.

One wonders if false historical narratives are more likely to befall colonial settler nations. After all, the United States itself is beholden to any number of false historical narratives: the belief that America promotes and defends freedom around the world; the belief that it won World War Two; the lack of acknowledgement of the Native American genocide in its historical narrative; and that it has served as an impartial mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This latter belief has been lately exploded by several excellent books, among them Rashid Khalidi’s Brokers of Deceit. Thanks in large part to such works, the rise of social media, and the militancy and visibility of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the general tenor of debate in the United States, at least, has changed. This is deeply troubling for Tel Aviv and Washington, which have long depended on a tightly controlled, top-down narrative to control opinion on Palestinian issues, a storyline dutifully disseminated by sycophantic corporate media. But a false narrative cannot survive or thrive amid a digital space of unbridled debate, much of it agitated unmediated wrangling with a tendency to devolve into ad hominem attacks, but also plenty of powerful non-mainstream journalism bringing fresh perspectives to the topic.

Damming the Flood

Only heavy-handed censorship can hope to stem the tide of dissident voices from chopping the legs out from beneath the mainstream fairy tale of Israeli rectitude and Arab savagery. And that is, of course, precisely what is happening in the social space.

Facebook has purged some 400 pro-Palestinian voices from its platform for violating “community standards,” an ironic phrase given that real community standards would necessarily have to be created by the community, rather than its ‘owner’, presently being advised by the neoliberal, neocon Atlantic Council. Facebook labeled the banned commentary as “hate speech”, a term unsupported by the Supreme Court but happily flung about by the Israeli lobby–alongside the stalwart ‘anti-Semitism’–in efforts to shutter dissent. Twitter, too, has fallen in line with the pro-Israel position of both the government and its mainstream media lapdogs. It has shuttered attempts to out IDF commando unit soldiers who raided Gaza last month. The censorship aligns with Israeli military censors in Tel Aviv.

CNN wasted no time firing Marc Lamont Hill after a fairly normal speech at the United Nations during its commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Board members at Temple University, where he teaches, rumbled about punitive measures. The treatment of Hill falls in line with a long history of attacks on African-Americans who disagree with American foreign policy, from Paul Robeson during the McCarthy era, the many victims of the FBI’s COINTELPRO effort to destroy black solidarity movements. Even Andrew Young, serving as Jimmy Carter’s UN Ambassador, was forced to resign when he took the bold step of actually talking to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). An alliance of oppressed peoples across national borders is a true existential nightmare for imperialists, explaining in part why so many African-American leftists have been swift and energetically besieged by establishment agencies.

A Leaky Vessel

But it may be too little too late. Holes are being ripped in the Zionist false narrative, and it is leaking hard truths like a sieve. At last, Americans are beginning to recognize the cruelty of the Israeli occupation. For years the international community has angrily brandished UN resolutions against the occupation, about the right of return, and others declaring Zionism as a form of racism. To little avail. Some sixty resolutions have been widely ignored in the west. With this occupation more than any other conflict in the geopolitical arena, it is as if international law does not exist.

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt punctured a gaping hole in the side of stealthy Zionist influence with their landmark work The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. But the social media response to the brutal Israeli siege of Gaza in 2014 was likely the watershed moment. Progressives like Max Blumenthal assiduously documented the assault, while the glib Obama administration’s willingness to sell arms to Israel in the midst of its crushing attack struck many Americans as almost unconscionably blasé. So too the international response to the recently passed Basic Law, in which Israel is confirmed as a Jewish-ethnic state, with all mention of democracy stripped from the language. In one recent step by a major company, Airbnb recused itself from doing business in occupied territories, a move lauded by Palestinian supporters and naturally deplored by Zionists.

The perceptual gap between the views of the American populace and the Israeli citizenry appears to be widening. A recent polling result in Israel uncovered widespread racism targeting Arabs and Palestinians. Israelis were uncomfortable in large numbers to a variety of hypothetical interactions with Palestinians: if their children made friends with Palestinian children, if their neighbors were Palestinian, if people near them spoke in Arabic, and so on. Likewise, many said they’d be unlikely to rent to Palestinians and felt Israelis deserved job placement consideration over Arabs. As a comparison with a comparable European poll showed, Israeli discomfort with Arabs was more widespread than European discomfort with Jews, undermining the MSM discussion of rising anti-Semitism, a phenomenon that Foreign Policy argued was not tied to rising criticism of Israel.

A University of Maryland poll of Americans showed growing support for a one-state solution, as more observers have come to believe that rampant Israeli settlement-building in occupied territory have made a two-state solution completely unrealistic apart from some construction that posited a Palestinian state composed of tiny isolated cantons vigilantly policed by the IDF on the least arable land available (the rest having been annexed by entitled settlers).

A one-state solution is an anathema to Zionists. Israel has long harbored a fear of one day being outnumbered by Arabs in its own ‘homeland’. One hears the occasional trumpeting of a demographic ‘time bomb’ (and sometimes arguments that give lie to the concept). Israelis have cited the ‘security situation’ as an incentive to reproduce. In any event, settlements continue apace. It is instructive to note that inside Israel, there is vigorous debate on this issue: not about the validity of settlements, but the pace at which they are constructed.

Americans also increasingly support sanctions on Israel for its continued settlement activity. This undoubtedly partly owing to the aforementioned thaw in the commentary, particularly of the non-professional variety, but also perhaps has to do with the fact that Washington has leveled sanctions against so many perceived foes in recent years: Venezuela, Nicaragua, Russia, China, Syria, Iran, and on and on. Why, the public must wonder, is Israel left out of this seemingly indiscriminate use of economic leverage?

Zionists have mounted vigorous resistance to BDS, and have persuaded Congress to put forward the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would criminalize any kind of voluntary boycotting of Israel and its settlements. This last argument reflects the threadbare smear that pro-Israeli hawks like Alan Dershowitz and other informally appointed paladins of the cause have long used to defend criticism of Israel: that any criticism of Israel or Zionism is a de facto attack on Jews and therefore anti-Semitic. This attempt to conflate Israel with all Jewry is not unlike the facile use of the “hate speech” to encompass all varieties of criticism.

The Race to Narrative Hegemony

Yet dire reports surface almost daily, as Israel clamors to bar and ban and liquidate resistance. Among the recent stories that must have Israeli PR groups a furor: the expelling of Human Rights Watch officials from the country, the shooting of unarmed protestors during the ‘Great March of Return’ border protests, remorseless extrajudicial killings, the expansion of “admissions committees” to restrict Palestinian access to housing, the rationing of electricity and medicines to desperate Gazans, the forcible exile of Bedouins from historic villages. The list is interminable.

Perhaps for these reasons rather in spite of them, some 38 percent of Americans, including 37 percent of Jewish Americans polled, think Israel has too much influence in the American political system. Democrats in particular are increasingly favorable to actually neutral policies toward Israelis and Palestinians, not least because of Obama’s chilly relationship with Tel Aviv, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s undermining of the former president’s JCPOA with Iran.

It is critical to note the yawning abyss between the corporate state and corporate media positions on Israeli-Palestinian issues and those of the American public. While the MSM continues its pro-Israel stance, the ideological ground beneath it is shifting like sand, as Americans have engaged in online debates that have in some cases broadened their perspectives and in others deepened their partisanship. It is forever ironic that efforts to suppress a particular viewpoint tend to exacerbate it. As the mainstream become ever more strident in their response to heterodox opinions, the objections only grow louder. As one might expect, the historical narrative around Israel is now freighted with heretical objections, its propositions subject to relentless dissection in the digital sphere.

It is no surprise then, that Trump’s friends at those White House Hanukkah parties have grown shrill and heavy-handed in their attempts to shout down a rising chorus of resistance to the party line. The question is, can they push Washington and America’s social media giants hard enough to foreclose the numberless avenues of dissent fast enough to salvage what’s left of a tawdry argument for apartheid.

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 8 Comments

Why the United States Has Not Won a Real War Since 1945

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | December 16, 2018

If anyone is still wondering why the United States has not won a real war since 1945, I offer up the example of retired U.S. Army Colonel Wes Martin, who writes for Town Hall and reportedly also has appeared as an expert commentator on Fox. Town Hall is a purveyor of a certain type of “American conservatism.” It was founded by the Heritage Foundation on the principle that the United States is ordained by God as uber alles. Though it features many good writers and even genuine conservatives it occasionally goes off the rails. Its latest incarnation features an article entitled “Obama-loving country music star Tim McGraw partners with terror-sponsoring communists.”

Colonel Martin’s bio includes his service as the Senior Antiterrorism Officer for all Coalition Forces in Iraq and Commander of Camp Ashraf, which is where the military arm of the Mojahedin e Khalq (MEK) terrorist group was camped while Saddam Hussein was still in power. MEK, consisting of Iranian dissidents, was being used by Saddam to carry out low-intensity warfare against Iran. It was placed under American military protection after the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

Martin’s latest foray in Mullah-bashing is a December 10th article entitled “Iran’s Continuing Misinformation Campaign.” It is a defense of MEK, which he describes as a victim of Iranian propaganda. Martin frames his argument around a critique of a November 9th report entitled “Terrorists, cultists – or champions of Iranian democracy? The wild, wild story of the MEK” that appeared in The Guardian, but, in reality, most of his piece is about himself. The Guardian article, written by Arron Merat, provides an in-depth analysis of MEK, how it developed, and what it is doing today. It does, to be sure, come down on the side of MEK being both a cult and a terror organization, which is what Martin disputes.

Martin’s article, like all of his pieces appearing on Town Hall, is nearly unreadable. It includes gems like “The Iranian dissidents have a primary target of the ayatollahs misinformation campaign” and also “This was the first time in U.S. history, and perhaps world history, where one country was invaded and with it came the entrapment of a large military force dedicated to the removal of a third of the country’s leadership.” I’m sure Colonel Martin actually meant something in those two sentences but I am at a loss to figure out what it might be.

Martin reports that MEK first came on to his “radar” in 2003 after the invasion of Iraq by U.S. forces, which is part of his problem, which might be described as seeing what one wants to see. He conducted “an assessment on the MEK and determined they were not a threat.” But other evidence, which Martin should have considered, suggests that MEK was not just a group of Iranian dissidents. A study prepared by the Rand Corporation for the U.S. government conducted interviews at Camp Ashraf and concluded that there were present “many of the typical characteristics of a cult, such as authoritarian control, confiscation of assets, sexual control (including mandatory divorce and celibacy), emotional isolation, forced labor, sleep deprivation, physical abuse and limited exit options.”

MEK made the transition from terrorist group to “champions of Iranian democracy” by virtue of intensive lobbying of Iran haters. The Guardian article also describes how “A stupendously long list of American politicians from both parties were paid hefty fees to speak at events in favor of the MEK, including Giuliani, John McCain, Newt Gingrich and former Democratic party chairs Edward Rendell and Howard Dean – along with multiple former heads of the FBI and CIA. John Bolton, who has made multiple appearances at events supporting the MEK, is estimated to have received upwards of $180,000. According to financial disclosure forms, Bolton was paid $40,000 for a single appearance at the Free Iran rally in Paris in 2017.”

It apparently never occurred to Martin that the group had a whole lot of history before he appeared on the scene and it began buying American politicians. It may not have been an active threat in 2003, when confronted by overwhelming U.S. military force, but it sure was anti-American back in the 1970s, to include the assassination of at least six U.S. Air Force officers and civilian defense contractors. The ambush in which two air force officers were murdered by MEK was reenacted for each incoming class at the Central Intelligence Agency training center in the late 1970s to illustrate just how a terrorist attack on a moving vehicle might take place.

Colonel Martin is inevitably a harsh critic of President Barack Obama, mentioning in passing that “Unfortunately, the State Department policy under the Obama administration was intent on appeasing the Iran regime.” It is an assertion for which there is scant evidence apart from Obama’s clearly expressed reasonable desire to negotiate an end to any possible Iranian nuclear weapons program. In fact, Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton removed the group from the State Department terror list in 2012, and then arranged for its relocation to a safe site in Albania, where it still resides.

In another article on “evil” Iran, obviously an obsession with Martin, he states that “The fundamentalists in Tehran were almost overthrown during the vast national uprisings of 2009 (predating the Arab Spring). While former President Obama and former Secretary Clinton stayed silent, in favor of their nuclear deal with the regime…” Martin is dead wrong that the regime was almost overthrown. It was never threatened. And, of course, it would have been difficult for Obama to have remained silent in 2009 over the “nuclear deal” which was not signed until 2015.

Martin also has problems with the Guardian article’s assertion that MEK derives from an “Islamist-Marxist” ideology. He observes “In other words, the MEK is composed of God-fearing atheists. He needs to pick one or the other, because Islam and Marxism do not mix.” Actually Marxism, as a primarily social and economic framework, is not necessarily anti-religious, particularly when religion inspires the workers as part of the class struggle. Political Marxism and religious zealotry can coexist. The communist Tudeh Party of pre-revolutionary Iran was reportedly full of Islamists. And MEK does indeed have both Marxist and Islamic roots. It helped to overthrow the Shah in 1979 through cooperation with the religious parties but then turned against the clerics after they had succeeded in assuming control of the revolution.

Martin also completely ignores MEK’s anti-American, anti-capitalist and anti-colonialist roots. It began as a radicalized student group in Iran in the 1970s that attacked U.S. businesses and was viscerally opposed to the United States presence. The Guardian article describes how one of its songs went “Death to America by blood and bonfire on the lips of every Muslim is the cry of the Iranian people. May America be annihilated.”

Colonel Martin saves his best for last as he fulminates “Iran, the number one nation-state exporter of terrorism, is also the number one exporter of propaganda. Iran’s MOIS [Ministry of Intelligence and Security] will fight the truth with lies, deceit, and manipulation of facts. MOIS expends great effort to neutralize the MEK as the primarily threat to the Iranian regime.”

That Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism is often asserted by folks like Colonel Martin and John Bolton but rarely elaborated on, particularly given the fact that the United States operates worldwide with intelligence officers, special ops and drones that kill lots of people on a regular basis without any declarations of war. Who has Iran killed lately? And when it comes to propaganda, no one does it better or more aggressively that the U.S. and Israel, even if no one believes any of it anymore.

What it comes down to is that people like Colonel Wes Martin, unfortunately proliferating in the U.S. government, hate Iran for a whole lot of reasons that have nothing to do with national security. Israel and its lobby are certainly an element as is the need for enemies to feed the paranoia that drives and funds the military industrial complex. Martin reveals his ignorance when he objects to what he believes to be Iranian government efforts to “neutralize the MEK as the primarily (sic) threat to the Iranian regime.” That claim is complete nonsense. MEK worked with Saddam Hussein to kill Iranians, just as it earlier killed Americans. It is hated in Iran and has little support inside the country. It is a terrorist group, currently being used by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad to assassinate and otherwise kill still more Iranians. This is why luminaries like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton and Colonel Martin love it, not because it is poised to bring democracy to Iran.

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Canada to Pay Heavy Price for Trudeau’s Groupie Role in US Banditry Against China

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 16.12.2018

You do have to wonder about the political savvy of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government. The furious fallout from China over the arrest of a senior telecoms executive is going to do severe damage to Canadian national interests.

Trudeau’s fawning over American demands is already rebounding very badly for Canada’s economy and its international image.

The Canadian arrest – on behalf of Washington – of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, seems a blatant case of the Americans acting politically and vindictively. If the Americans are seen to be acting like bandits, then the Canadians are their flunkies.

Wanzhou was detained on December 1 by Canadian federal police as she was boarding a commercial airliner in Vancouver. She was reportedly handcuffed and led away in a humiliating manner which has shocked the Chinese government, media and public.

The business executive has since been released on a $7.4 million bail bond, pending further legal proceedings. She is effectively being kept under house arrest in Canada with electronic ankle tagging.

To add insult to injury, it is not even clear what Wanzhou is being prosecuted for. The US authorities have claimed that she is guilty of breaching American sanctions against Iran by conducting telecoms business with Tehran. It is presumed that the Canadians arrested Wanzhou at the request of the Americans. But so far a US extradition warrant has not been filed. That could take months. In the meantime, the Chinese businesswoman will be living under curfew, her freedom denied.

Canadian legal expert Christopher Black says there is no juridical case for Wanzhou’s detention. The issue of US sanctions on Iran is irrelevant and has no grounds in international law. It is simply the Americans applying their questionable national laws on a third party. Black contends that Canada has therefore no obligation whatsoever to impose those US laws regarding Iran in its territory, especially given that Ottawa and Beijing have their own separate bilateral diplomatic relations.

In any case, what the real issue is about is the Americans using legal mechanisms to intimidate and beat up commercial rivals. For months now, Washington has made it clear that it is targeting Chinese telecoms rivals as commercial competitors in a strategic sector. US claims about China using telecoms for “spying” and “infiltrating” American national security are bogus propaganda ruses to undermine these commercial rivals through foul means.

It also seems clear from US President Donald Trump’s unsubtle comments this week to Reuters, saying he would “personally intervene” in the Meng case “if it helped trade talks with China”, that the Huawei executive is being dangled like a bargaining chip. It was a tacit admission by Trump that the Americans really don’t have a legal case against her.

Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland bounced into damage limitation mode following Trump’s thuggish comments. She said that the case should not be “politicized” and that the legal proceedings should not be tampered with. How ironic is that?

The whole affair has been politicized from the very beginning. Meng’s arrest, or as Christopher Black calls it “hostage-taking”, is driven by Washington’s agenda of harassment against China for commercial reasons, under a legal pretext purportedly about Iranian sanctions.

When Trump revealed the cynical expediency of him “helping to free Wanzhou”, then the Canadians realized they were also being exposed for the flunkies that they are for American banditry. That’s why Freeland was obliged to quickly adopt the fastidious pretense of legal probity.

Canadian premier Justin Trudeau has claimed that he wasn’t aware of the American request for Wanzhou’s detention. Trudeau is being pseudo. For such a high-profile infringement against a senior Chinese business leader, Ottawa must have been fully briefed by the Americans. Christopher Black, the legal expert, believes that Trudeau had to have known about the impending plot to snatch Wanzhou and moreover that he personally signed off on it.

What Trudeau and his government intended to get out of performing this sordid role for American thuggery is far from clear. Maybe after being verbally mauled by Trump as “weak and dishonest” at the G7 summit earlier this year, in June, Trudeau decided it was best to roll over and be a good little puppy for the Americans in their dirty deed against China.

But already it has since emerged that Canada is going to pay a very heavy price indeed for such dubious service to Washington. Beijing has warned that it will take retaliation against both Washington and Ottawa. And it is Ottawa that is more vulnerable to severe repercussions.

This week saw two Canadian citizens, one a former diplomat, detained in China on spying charges.

Canadian business analysts are also warning that Beijing can inflict harsh economic penalties on Ottawa. An incensed Chinese public have begun boycotting Canadian exports and sensitive Canadian investments in China are now at risk from being blocked by Beijing. A proposed free trade deal that was being negotiated between Ottawa and Beijing now looks dead in the water.

And if Trudeau’s government caves in to the excruciating economic pressure brought to bear by Beijing and then abides by China’s demand to immediately release Meng Wanzhou, Ottawa will look like a pathetic, gutless lackey to Washington. Canada’s reputation of being a liberal, independent state will be shredded. Even then the Chinese are unlikely to forget Trudeau’s treachery.

With comic irony, there’s a cringemaking personal dimension to this unseemly saga.

During the 1970s when Trudeau’s mother Margaret was a thirty-something socialite heading for divorce from his father, then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, she was often in the gossip media for indiscretions at nightclubs. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards claims in his autobiography that Margaret Trudeau was a groupie for the band, having flings with Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood. Her racy escapades and louche lifestyle brought shame to many Canadians.

Poor Margaret Trudeau later wound up divorced, disgraced, financially broke and scraping a living from scribbling tell-all books.

Justin, her eldest son, is finding out that being a groupie for Washington’s banditry is also bringing disrepute for him and his country.

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment